Dinner Makeovers

The most chaotic time in most households is dinnertime. You’re tired, the family is hungry, and you just want to get something on the table fast. The good news is that you can make your dinner more Magic without spending any extra time making the meal.

Our Top Five Dinner Guidelines


  • 1.

    Limit carbs.

    Limit yourself to one or two servings of carbohydrates. One serving would be 1/2 cup of pasta, potatoes, rice, or stuffing; two servings would be 1 cup.

  • 2.

    Fill up on veggies.

    Fill the hole on your plate with veggies. Here’s your best shot at meeting your vegetable quota for the day. Even if you’re having a salad on the side, put at least 1/2 cup of veggies, such as sautéed carrots or green beans, on your plate. Rely on frozen veggies and prewashed, bagged salad greens if you’re short on time.

  • 3.

    Skip the bread.

    Leave the bread at the store. Bread isn’t bad for you, but if you had a sandwich for lunch, that’s probably all the bread you need for the day. Adding bread to dinner means you may not eat other, healthier foods; almost always adds butter to your meal; and certainly increases the GL.

  • 4.

    Opt for lean protein.

    Keep your protein lean. Think turkey meatballs instead of beef, flank steak instead of ground beef, and chicken without the skin instead of fried chicken. Tofu, beans, fish, and shrimp are also good protein sources.

  • 5.

    Choose your beverage wisely.

    Stick with water as your beverage of choice. Or, if you like milk, have a glass of fat-free. Wine is fine occasionally if your doctor okays it, but soda and juice add calories and GL without adding much (or any) nutrition. Most of us don’t drink enough water throughout the day and come home feeling wilted. Drink a cold glassful at dinner to rehydrate.

  • 6.

    Serve in the kitchen.

    Dish the food onto plates instead of placing a serving dish on the table for everyone to dig into. You’re likely to eat less.

  • 7.

    Stop late-night snacking.

    After dinner (or dessert, if you have it), close up the kitchen. For many people, late-night eating is a prime reason for eating too many calories in a day.

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